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A No Bullshit Plan for Saving the Planet

Updated: Dec 12, 2022

The battle against climate change and the need to move sustainability from theory to practice becomes increasingly important and apparent every day.

John Pabon has spent two decades in the business of saving our Earth and is our guest on the Lean to the Left podcast. He joins us from his home in Melbourne, Australia.

After leaving a post at the United Nations, John traveled the world studying the impacts of sustainability first-hand in factories, on fields, and in Fortune 500s. His mission is to move sustainability from theory to practical strategies that help people and businesses confidentially make real impact.

Over his 20-year career, Pabon has worked with the United Nations, McKinsey, A.C. Nielsen, and as a consultant with BSR, the world’s largest sustainability-focused business network. He is the founder of Fulcrum Strategic Advisors, Programme Director for The Conference Board’s Asia Sustainability Leaders Council, and serves on the board of advisors to the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce.

Pabon is also the author of “Sustainability for the Rest of Us: Your No-Bullshit, Five-Point Plan for Saving the Planet.” His upcoming book, “The Great Greenwashing,” will be out soon.

On the program, Pabon points out that more and more business owners and managers are finding that cost savings and increased profits are to be found in eco-friendly initiatives, including simple measures for using fewer resources like water and paper, to long-term resilience measures such as installing renewable energy systems.

As the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce points out, "consumers are expecting more from companies. In fact, 87% of American’s have “high expectations for companies to do more than make a profit.” Investment portfolios with social responsibility criteria have seen “double digit growth” In recent years.

"A study completed by the Harvard Business School found that “High Sustainability companies outperform Low Sustainability companies both in stock market as well as accounting performance.”

Pabon contends that businesses must be in the forefront in the battle against climate change, and that those that recognize this are satisfying the desires of their customers while also benefiting financially.

Here are some questions discussed in the interview:

Q. What do you mean when you use the term “sustainability?”

Q. What is the state of global sustainability today?

Q. Why isn’t “people power” working?

Q. What are the biggest myths when it comes to building a more sustainable future?

Q. You say we should learn from China about sustainability? Really? Why? What can we learn from them?

Q. What role should the private sector have in this effort?

Q. You say that the greenies and eco-warriors have actually made the world a worse place. Why is that?

Q. We see a lot of talk about climate change and environmentalism. How is your perspective different?

Q. You call yourself a pragmatic altruist. What does that mean?

Q. What can readers hope to gain by reading your book?

Q. What are your five BS-free points? Which do you see as the most important and why?

Q. Tell us about your new book, “The Great Greenwashing.” What is “greenwashing’? How can we recognize and avoid it?

Listen to the interview:

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